I was also a bookworm, an introvert, and a topper during my studies throughout my education (from inter to engineering and also masters at IIT). I can understand how it feels when we get anxious about preparing for exams. That may be because of several reasons which I will try to highlight.
- Somewhow we feel low in confidence of clearing the exam
- May be we are fearful of the result - what if we couldn't do better? we did good until these years what if the result is not the top
- The expectation of our surrounds on us (family, friends relatives, negihbours etc.) might be driving us nuts and make us more anxious and fearul of giving exams
And lots to mention....
If we carefully recall or observe the reasons....one common reson would be our fear for failure or thoughts of proving to people....or may be something else
I will also share my personal experiences of what worked for me and what kept me positive always since we both are on the same grounds
I didn't give a damn about the outcome of my exams. Initially, I was having expectation but on a later stage, I stopped expecting anything out of my results. What I always keep in mind is 'just give my best and accept whatever comes afterward.' Because of neither having some expectation or rejection, whatever comes to me didn't affect me. Also, I was not fluctuating with thoughts or anxiety of something going wrong or someone thinking about me.
Stop worrying about how people are looking at you - be neutral. Even if people are treating as someone special, don't take that to mind. Likewise, if people are not giving prominence to you or your work, don't even care. All you should care is how satisfied you are with your own attempts, how much effort you are putting genuinely from your heart should matter. If you care only about how you think of yourself and care nill about how others are looking at you (either in good way or bad way), then nothing can make you fluctuate. Remember, considering or minding someone treating you is also kind of bad. That's because this will put into a hard time by making you always prove or live to meet their expectation. Instead, live to your own expectations.
I always know that or appreciate that 'success is not in our path always.' Sometimes it's ok to meet failures. In fact my failure times made me strong (i think this is what many people say). My failures helped me learn the other side of me, it helped me figure out my capabilities in other fields, it helped me look out for new alternatives and hence I understood my hidden skills, which I couldn't even think about until then. So, if we are not worried about the failures, then probably we might never come across anxiety or depression.
there are many other things that it might take a whole day to write. But the first most point above would top the list. When we always believe that just giving is what all we need to do and the best always turns in our life and we never worry about how others consider us, we are in a safer side.
Give it a try (it might be difficult but it is possible) and keep giving your best. Good luck and best wishes. For any further help or discussion, feel free to reach out to me.